A total of 129 countries have already submitted their entries for the ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games. With 123 National Paralympic Committee (NPC) entries in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, this represents an all time Games participation record.
By 15 June 2003, the deadline for applications, additional countries are expected to supply their entries for the ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games. The entries already received include 19 countries, which did not take part at the Paralympic Games in Sydney. The IPC believes that 4,000 competitors from more than 130 countries will participate in the 2004 Paralympics. The number of NPCs worldwide is 161.
As many as 47 of the 49 European NPCs have already entered, only Luxemburg will definitely not take part in the competition. Thirty-one out of 43 African countries have already entered, from the Americas region 19 out of 26, from East Asia 17 out of 22, from the South Pacific 4 out of 8 and from the Middle East 11 out of 13.
For the first time in the history of the Paralympic Games, athletes with a disability will not have to pay an entry fee. Thus, more countries than ever before will be able to send teams to the Paralympic Games.